One Room Challenge: Week Six : The Reveal

 Here we are, week SIX! The end of the challenge.

20 bloggers, all working on making over a room in 6 weeks. Did we all accomplish what we set out to do? 

I chose to make over my living room. My goal was to re-use what I had and with a bit of paint, fabric and accessories zhush up the dark space.

Warning: Long Post Ahead.....

So where am I with my living room? Well, I am not finished completely but I have made great strides in getting it to where I want it to be. It was a great kick-in-the-#$%% to get moving on this space.
First off, thanks to Linda from My Crafty Home Life, the creative genius behind the "One Room Challenge" for asking me to participate. I was such an honour, and it was really enjoyable working alongside all the other amazing bloggers/designers. We were all in this together and that made this whole challenge such a pleasure {even when fiascos struck, I knew those ladies had my back - more on this in a bit...} I am sad that our joint blogging has come to an end for now. 
my room is not completely finished, almost, but not quite. 
I tried. but had a few glitches that set me back.
Let's see where I began 6 weeks ago. Let's walk down memory lane shall we?

This was what the living room/dining room looked like when we moved in 4 years ago.

Nice, eh?

I painted it a lovely beige just after we moved in and brought in a new light fixture. But it sat like this for 4 years. I didn't like the peachy hue the walls cast at times. This furniture worked in my southern exposure living room in Virginia but not in this northern exposure room with VERY little daylight.

This room needed an intervention!

Dark, lacking and colour and pattern AND not much natural light!

My goal: to lighten up the space, soften the black and bring balance with pops of colour. I also wanted to re-use what I had and spend very little. Also since I rent, I couldn't change those lovely mirror niches and change anything structurally.

Before I show you the AFTER, let me share with you a few of my glitches and one major fiasco.

Glitch #1:

The dining room chairs did NOT get slipcovered. For as long as I can remember Ikea sold plain white fabric, perfect for slipcovers. Well, somehow they no longer sell it. Did they know about my challenge and decide to throw a wrench into my plans? Argh. So now I search for the right fabric and a great price. I need 12 meters, so I don't want to break the bank. 
We lack any decent fabric stores here in the suburbs....and with my busy life I have yet to venture into Vancouver to visit the sad few stores that are there.

Glitch #2:

Paint colour: The wall paint was provided by Benjamin Moore Canada {THANKS!} I had no issues with the paint, in fact, I love Aura paint. It goes on like butter and if I really followed the directions, I would of only had to do one coat.

My problem is with the colour I chose. I had a colour consult with 10 Rooms, and it was recommended that I use Benjamin Moore's "Wind's Breath, OC -24" for the wall colour. I went with one shade lighter on the deck "Classic Grey, OC-23". Once it went on the wall, I felt it looked awful. So back to the store I went to tint it to "Wind's Breath".  Thanks Benjamin Moore for always being so great with colour tinting and suggestions!

**It was brought to my attention from a friend who is also a colour consultant that the OC, HC and Affinity paint colours are grouped together on strips not because they are shades lighter/darker than each other. So you have to judge each colour on their own. Thanks C, you are so smart!

I love the paint colour but this is where is it important to use test colours on the wall. My room is tricky. I rent, so I must deal with all the pinky-beige and poorly painted trim in this room. Trying to match and combine it all with paint colour is tricky. I like "Wind's Breath" but is is a bit cooler and makes my trim look more yellowy and really makes the pinky beige tiles on the fireplace stand out. Sigh.....I am not repainting but next time- TEST PATCHES!

Major Fiasco:

While painting the walls on the weekend {I did it all backwards, but if you have followed along you know our predicament} I knocked over the paint can with my foot {when I was on the last wall, last coat} and spilled paint on my drop cloth and a bit on my area rug. AAAHHH!. I didn't really like that rug anymore but still a new rug is not in the budget right now. Taking paint out of a flokati rug is painful. I had to keep it damp. Then the next day take the rug out of the room and hose it down on the lawn.
Now I like the space without the rug, makes it seem larger. Also the new wall paint made the rug look "dirty". So the rug is going into the family room when it dries. 

Ready for the reveal???

Here we are today. 

{Of course it was cloudy when I took the photos, which makes this room even harder to photograph}

Like my Pink Pagoda print? Thanks Jennifer! I think it looks smashing on the mantel along with my original art from Prague and thrift store brass bird.

The drapery hardware was hung wider, about 16 inches from the window edge to give an illusion of a wide window.

Painted Ikea Markor bookcases {no longer available}. A bird print I won from Modern Jane.

My gold leafed frame, with my great-great Aunt's needlework.

The old mirror with a fresh coat of semi-gloss black spray paint and rub'n'buff in antique gold.

 Gotta love rub'n'buff!

A collection of plates, some new and some that were my Czech grandmothers.

My Ikea Markor hack, 5 coats of red paint {Caliente by Benjamin Moore} and new hardware from Lee Valley to glam up the plain sideboard.

My blue onion china that both my Czech grandmothers started collecting for me when I was 10. Makes me smile every time I use them. And antique silverware we inherited from my husband's grandmother. 

Here is a run-down of what I did:

* add pillows in various colours and patterns
*paint sideboard red: Caliente by Benjamin Moore and new hardware from Lee Valley
*Paint bookcases Dove Wing by Benjamin Moore and back of bookcase, Black Beauty by BM as well.
*re-hang drapery hardware way wider, to make the window appear larger {I chose not to spray the hardware gold}
*spray paint large mirror gold- major fail, looked like it should of belonged in Liberace's bedroom, so I painted it black and used rub-n-buff to highlight the decorative trim
*gold leaf small thrift store mirror
*hang plates and art above sideboard
*re-arrange art and style bookcase
*paint walls

This is still what I have to do.

Slipcover dining room chairs
Find new area rug.
Jazz up the drapes {or new drapes}
Roman blinds for windows in dining room
Round concave mirror for above fireplace
Lamps for dining room console
Paint end tables {or new ones?}
And new light fixture for living room.


Thanks for following along, commenting, words of encouragement and just sticking with me! I am not completely finished so come back for updates to this space. When it is done, I am getting the room professionally photographed!

Want to read from the beginning? 

Let's pop over and visit the other challengees. Wonder if they finished???

Lauren - The Cottage Mix
Lindsay - Everything LEB
Barbara - Hodge:Podge
Tiffany - Living Savvy
Jessie - Mix & Chic
Danylle - Nana Moon
Jennifer - The Pink Pagoda
Bethany - Powell Brower Home
Emily - Rue de Emily
Lindsay - Sadie + Stella

XO Barbara 

** Update:
Linking up to Emily Clark's Working With What You Have Party


  1. Barbara! It's awesome! I love the pillows and the wall color looks fantastic! I spy the blue jay that you won in my giveaway a while back:) My favorite part is the frames and plates above the buffet.. such a beautiful arrangement! Well done girl!

  2. How pretty!! I love that red cabinet! Great job.

  3. I love your gorgeous pillows, and the painted bookcases and the dining console! Great job Barbara! It looks so fresh..sorry about the paint mishap! We couldn't get the color right in Bethany's room..put 3 coats on the walls!
    Enjoy your free time now!
    xo Nancy

  4. You finished strong, girl! It is great...and the important part, so much better than before. Every time I open a can of paint, I worry about the stuff that has happened to you. It happens to us all. I'll come back, because I love your blog...but I also want to see those awesome slip covers.

  5. It looks beautiful, Barbara. I love that you kept it real and told all the hiccups along the way. I've pulled the spilling the paint can trick myself...I know your pain!

  6. it looks amazing! the pillows and the red piece are my favorites!

  7. Those are some magical pillows lady! The whole room is so much more current and refreshed with the paint, cheerful pillows and the new accessories. Loved all your pics and the way you highlighted all the little vignettes and your accessories. Glad you are getting professional shots done. This room is beautiful and should be captured. Awesome Job Barbara I love it.

  8. It looks amazing!! Way to keep it real and tell us about the glitches, too! The room looks so much brighter :)

  9. It is so perfect.. .there are no words! I love the pops of red and blue! It is done in perfect balance! Amazing mix of color and pattern!

  10. barbara - i am so darn proud of you - you really pulled it together. i know its not where YOU want it to be, but to all of us, it looks great. your pillows and the sideboard are wonderful - you did such a great job!!! you should be very proud, the rest of us ORC'ers are!

  11. That's a pretty impressive transformation. I never would have known that you were under the restrictions of renting and a budget.

  12. Barbara for not being "finished" it looks marvelous!! The red chest is to die for! Love the way the mirror turned out! Plenty of time for chair slipcovers, they look fine, don't fret! The room looks so balanced, comfortable and inviting.....

  13. Barbara I feel your pain ... I once (not very long ago) thought it would be a good idea to bring a gallon of paint with me to the top of a ladder while I painted ... needless to say, it dropped ... it FLEW and I had to rip out carpet, throw away bed linens and basically hose down the entire room!!! You recovered beautifully! You may feel you have more to do... but it look already amazing!!

  14. A wonderful transformation - I especially love the wall color, the pillows, the black bookcase back, and the red sideboard. Great work!

  15. Barbara you should be so proud of yourself! This revamp turned out beautifully! I LOVE that you painted the buffet in the dining room a luscious red! It really pops. and love all of the different patterns on the pillow you used to accessorize the sofas! yah!

  16. Stunning! I love the light and playful feeling, yet there is still a bit of elegance to the rooms. Your pillows on the couch are fantastic. And I love the dining room- the red sideboard and the display above it, and of course that chandelier! Fantastic job!

  17. It looks fabulous Barbara! It feels so much lighter and brighter and more inviting too. I love how you've styled it too, especially the dishes on the dining table. Well done! Fantastic photo too.

  18. Woah, what a great before and after (even if it is only a semi-after) The paint color really lightens up the space, I love it!!

    And all that color with the pillows and the art- you did an amazing job!!

  19. Barbara, it looks gorgeous!! All of the pillow and art really lightened/brightened the room, which I think was one of your biggest objectives? Who would ever know it's not finished? Fantastic job! And I'm absolutely thrilled one of my prints is a part of your room! Oh, and that red sideboard. LOVE how you styled that. What a show stopper!

  20. I knew you would prevail in spite of the challenges thrown at you along the way! Your makeover looks amazing, and I think you achieved your goal - the space feels much lighter and brighter, and the black has definitely taken a backseat instead of center stage. The things you still want to do will only add to the beautiful layers you've already created... I think my favorite part of this makeover is the red sideboard, and the relocation of the mirror you used to pair with it. Removing the mirror and replacing it with your plates, etc. has made the space feel way more playful and inviting. Big higs to you Miss Amazing! xo

  21. The entire space ins 6 weeks? Wow! I love the plate collection over that red sideboard. It just draws your eye to that end of the room. And those pillows! It is a beautiful room.

  22. WOW! looks layered and much happier.

  23. THIS IS STUNNING!!!!! I LOVE your room!!!! You did such a great job :) love how you accessorized everything. I hope you're happy because you really outdid yourself here.

  24. discovered your blog through this challenge. Amazing what a difference a series of small changes can make! Love the impact of the red throughout the space.


  25. Ohhh Barbara! What a wonderful job you've done!! OMG to the colour of the room when you moved in!!!!!! YUCK!! Everything you've done to the space since I was last there is just perfect. WOW!! We're always joking about how you're such a black, white & red girl, but I love how you incorporated blue into your decor scheme, not to mention the other hits of colour like in your lovely pillows and art. And lastly, your credenza. Red was sooo the way to go!! Fantastic!!
    Congrats on pulling together such a gorgeous and livable room :-)

  26. Great job as always, Barb. I love how much lighter the room looks now. The sideboard with the plates above is my very favourite part of the whole thing. Must feel great to walk in there now.

  27. The room looks so much lighter and airier! I especially love the dining area with the red sideboard and the plates! What a great makeover. (And you'll get there with all the rest--it takes time.)

  28. You did such a lot of work in six weeks and it turned out so much lighter and brighter. I really like the pop of red from the buffet and the repainted bookcases. I believe that is the same bookcase that I have in my familyroom. I've painted the back and stained it a dark brown but it may be up for some painting too! I think my favourite part is the wall of plates. Feels so gathered and unique.

  29. Boy did you give that space a facelift! Gorgeous. I love the red sideboard. The print pillows totally transform the leather couches. Your colorful plates added instant art above the sideboard. Love your transformation.

  30. Looks fantastic Barbara!! Love the light colour and the pattern from the pillows is awesome. And the LOVE the sideboard!

  31. Gurl...even after all of those glitches....[dang the paint bucket tipping over] you managed to present us with a beautiful room. Love the splash of red in the DR and I do believe that painting the bookshelves was key to helping this room lighten up! Gotta tell you that the mantel is one of my favorite parts.....accessorized perfectly!!!

  32. What a difference the color on the wall makes to this space! I love the pops of color from the pillows, plates and art over the sideboard, that gorgeous red sideboard!! and all of your personality infused into the room. You really pulled it together beautifully!

  33. Beautiful job! I love all the pattern and colour!

  34. Barbara ~ Jiminy Cricket! Oh Canada ~ You sure know how to go into attack mode. Chic sophistication & stunning, stunning combination of the primary red, black & white. Love the Red Chevron, Chiang Mai Dragon & Chipper on the pillows plus believe I saw Waverly Cross Section as well. Sheer genius. Now know what to do with my den cabinets; so going for the black back drop- Score! I will be plagiarizing many details from this room;)Rock on, Canada, Rock on!

  35. Wow!! It's amazing! The room really has a completely different feel and is so pulled together! Way to go! I love that you re-used things and really made what you had work for you!

  36. Your room looks wonderful. Much lighter and fresher, especially the repainted bookcases.

  37. It's beautiful! So bright and airy now and I love all the color you added! I could sit and look at those shelves forever; I love how you styled them!

  38. SO beautiful! Congrats on overcoming some set backs! I love the plates on the wall above the red favourite detail for sure! xo

  39. AHHHH-mazing Barbara!!! Wow, wow wow! I just love every project you accomplished here, the ikea hacks, the pillows, the plates oh my!! It just looks so much brighter, happier, and so much more YOU! I am inspired to tackle a few projects of my own now. You did an awesome job my friend, congrats.

    Nancy xo

  40. Love it Barbara! My two favorite parts - your beuaitful pillows and your red painted sideboard. Looking forward to seeing even more changes. Now you can take a deep breath and relax a bit!

  41. Holy killer rooms! I really, really love the results Barbara - it doesn't even look like the same place. It is so much lighter and brighter - I am thrilled that you are getting it professionally photographed, it deserves it. Those plates looks stunning over the red buffet, and of course I love the china! And the red cut crystal is beautiful - as is the bowl with the plant in it on the side table. You totally kicked butt on this challenge! :)

  42. Barbara, it looks GREAT! You did a fabulous job in such a short time frame... because really, six weeks sound like a long time but we all know that it is NOT! ;)

  43. Your room is sensational. Love love love the sideboard and the display above it!!!!

  44. It looks gorgeous - I really can't believe it's the same room with the same furniture! Those slipcovered chairs in the dining room will look fabulous. Good luck with the rest of the transformation, I can't believe how much you accomplished in 6 weeks!

  45. Wow- what wonderful things you did in that room! It feels so much fresher and yet bold and sophisticated. I think you did an amazing job on the bookshelves too- and I am all about plates used in design. Way to go!!

  46. The room looks fabulous! What a huge transformation! The gorgeous pillows you made make all the difference making it fresh and current. Love your red sideboard and overall styling! Well done, Barbara.


  47. Looks lovely! I love the styling in the bookcases. The space looks so much light. Great job. I have a few things that didn't make the final reveal either!!

  48. Barbara, you did a beautiful job! Love the colour pops!

  49. Wow Barb - it looks great! I love the pops of red and those pillows - I think they make the room! And your photos are incredible! (Yes, wish you lived closer so that you can give me sewing and photography lessons!)(Think I need to join this challenge next time around to finish a couple of rooms that need attention!)

  50. OMG... how did I miss this post until now! It's so gorgeous and I love your ming dragon pillow, especially the rectangle one on the sofa!! love the ribbon detail that goes around the fabric on the white border. The red accents work really well in your space, making the dark brown sofa and bookcases look less "dark" in a soft, neutral palette. Love your gold leaf tray and frame, and that plate wall in the dining room: LOVE!

    I so need to come visit you in vancouver one day!

  51. Wow Barb!!! It's awesome! It looks like a different room from the 'before' shots. Painting out those bookshelves made a HUGE difference! I also love how your pops of colour totally changed the space! From these photos it looks like the wall colour is fabulous.

  52. Just catching up on my blog reading and came to this! FABULOUS, FaBuLoUs! F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S! I love the new wall colour! Definitely brightens up the space. (I so want to get rid of my builders beige.) Nice work, Barb!

  53. those pops of red are ahh-mazing. SUCH a transformation - I loved this series! BRAVO.

  54. I love love love the red paint colour of your sideboard! Also loving all of the bright and personal touches throughout, especially the pillows and plates! Homes shouldn't look like a catalogue or show suite (in my humble opinion) but should reflect the personality of the people who live there....well done :)

  55. LOVE LOVE the painted black on the wall behind the bookshelves. It really sets off the accessories. And the plate wall is gorgeous!

  56. What an amazing transformation! I'm off to read weeks 1-5...

  57. Love this makeover, can I ask...where did you pick up the cute white owls?

  58. Turned out great. This room feels so fun and fresh to me :) Thanks for linking up!

  59. I have read your article, it is very informative and helpful for me.I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. Thanks for posting it.. Guesthouse Security


Let's chat...